LNH?: Burst Beetle Tweseveny #1: "2018: The End of Hope, The Beginning of the Future!"
pwerdna at gmail.com
Wed Sep 19 13:04:55 PDT 2018
Glenda Gwynnych was trying to hang onto her happiness and it wasn't going well.
She was a supervisor in a Microsoft satellite campus, overseeing a bunch of
underpaid QA people doing terrible, grinding work. She wore beige skirts and
sensible blouses every day, and told people they had to follow sensible,
terrible, grinding rules.
She was allowed one quirk, and she chose oversized novelty belt buckles. They
were big and chunky and sparkly, and when she looked down at them it managed to
lift her up head up half an inch above water.
When she got home, she fed her cat, who loved her very much but was worried
about her. She made herself dinner, and she got on the computer.
Once, she used to write on it! A long time ago, she had been part of something -
she had been writing stupid stories about superheroes on the Internet!
But she got distracted, and stopped, she got serious about her studies, and then
about getting a job, and she always meant to get back to it, but it wouldn't
make her money, and the people outside of her and the people inside her head
kept pushing her away, pushing her away...
And now she just sat here, and scrolled thru social media! People she followed
she didn't even like! Ads that were selling terrible things to nobody! Stuff she
didn't even follow but popped up on her feed anyway that was trying to
manipulate her into doing something dreadful!
And she knew that the stupid stories were still out there! That goofy bullshit
and joy were still out there!
But they weren't hers anymore. It never would be.
It hit her all at once. She collapsed on her bed, sobbing. Her cat came over and
curled around her legs.
She reached out and grabbed the phone, and whispered, voice dripping with tears,
"Please. Please let me have it back. Please."
And coming out of the phone, she heard a noise she hadn't heard in years. A
tweeting, buzzling, burbling noise. The noise of an old-school dial-up modem -
28.8K, just like the one she'd had in high school.
And in the noise of the modem she heard a message. A secret. What she had to do.
"Yes... Yes! You're right!" She ran over to the dresser and threw it open,
dumping the belt buckles on to the floor. "Look at what they've done to the
Internet of 2018!" She grabbed an old broken clock-radio and threw it on the
pile. "Look at what they've done to *me*!"
She followed the instructions of the mysterious acoustic signal, metal and
circuits reshaping under her hands. Soon, she had a rectangular belt buckle of
silvery metal, with the LED faceplate of the clock-radio on it, amber numbers
blinking 00:00. A row of little sparkling gems in various colors ran along the
bottom, red-pink-yellow-green-blue. It was thick, jutting out from her waist,
and there was a space in it just big enough for her phone.
"Yes, and now..." She pressed the blue gem, and it lit up, the clock face
changing to the impossible time of 19:92. "The past." She grabbed her phone. On
it in a big, friendly, easy-to-read font was the number 2019. "The future! I
barely have any... but one year will be enough!"
She flicked her finger over the surface of the phone. The voice recognition
interface came up, her words making the little bars rise and fall.
"Return to the past!" she shouted. "Return to the days of my youth... return
The numbers on the phone shivered, and with a pleasing fade became 1997. She
pushed the pink gem and slammed the phone into her belt buckle, and it squealed
with noise, dialing up once more. The digital clock flipped to 19:97, and the
alarm began ringing.
Her surroundings started melting away, yellow streetlight outside mixing with
flourescent blue kitchen lights. The colors spun and whirled.
From nowhere, a long sheet of paper, ancient printer paper with tearaway holes
on the edges and lines of green over it, streamed in, wrapping around her, layer
after layer, and then burst off.
She was in amazing armor, like a beetle's carapace in human form. Amber trim
glowed softly on black, on the edges of great big boots and great big gauntlets.
Her left shoulderpad was a stylized number 2, and her right a stylized number 7.
She had a visor jutting out over her brow, shaped like wide eyes looking with
eagerness into the future, and there was a crest on her forehead in the shape of
She could no longer feel the coldness in her belly of having to go to work
tomorrow. The certainty of decades that she had to do endless meaningless work
melted like the morning dew. Now she felt purpose! Now she felt light!
"My name is no longer Glenda Gwynnych," she proclaimed to infinity. "My name is
Burst Beetle Twesenveny... and I swear on the squeal of this modem that I will
bring pointless goofing-off back to the Net!"
Author's Note: A new series where I'm going to try and recapture the early-LNH
spirit of writing fun, silly stuff off the top of one's head, and focusing more
on the fun of the moment than on some metaplot. Also: A parody of Kamen Rider
Zi-O, because I started watching that! :D
Drew "yes, tweseveny" Perron
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